MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 391 this week

The General (1926)

8.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.3/10 from 39,754 users  
Reviews: 222 user | 105 critic

When Union spies steal an engineer's beloved locomotive, he pursues it single handedly and straight through enemy lines.

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive + 2 more

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 14 May 2012
 
a list of 44 titles
created 15 Mar 2013
 
a list of 21 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 35 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 26 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The General" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The General (1926)

The General (1926) on IMDb 8.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The General.

User Polls

Top 250 #135 | 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Sherlock Jr. (1924)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A film projectionist longs to be a detective, and puts his meagre skills to work when he is framed by a rival for stealing his girlfriend's father's pocketwatch.

Director: Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, Joe Keaton
The Gold Rush (1925)
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The Tramp goes to the Klondike in search of gold and finds it and more.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A spoiled heiress, running away from her family, is helped by a man who's actually a reporter looking for a story.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the US Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains
Ikiru (1952)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A bureaucrat tries to find a meaning in his life after he discovers he has terminal cancer.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Takashi Shimura, Nobuo Kaneko, Shin'ichi Himori
Metropolis (1927)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich
Ran (1985)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

An elderly lord abdicates to his three sons, and the two corrupt ones turn against him.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin
City Lights (1931)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The Tramp struggles to help a blind flower girl he has fallen in love with.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee
M (1931)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George
The Third Man (1949)
Film-Noir | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, black-market opportunist Harry Lime.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Johnnie Gray
Marion Mack ...
Glen Cavender ...
Jim Farley ...
Frederick Vroom ...
Charles Henry Smith ...
Annabelle's Father (as Charles Smith)
Frank Barnes ...
Joe Keaton ...
Union General
Mike Donlin ...
Union General
Tom Nawn ...
Union General
Edit

Storyline

Johnnie loves his train ("The General") and Annabelle Lee. When the Civil War begins he is turned down for service because he's more valuable as an engineer. Annabelle thinks it's because he's a coward. Union spies capture The General with Annabelle on board. Johnnie must rescue both his loves. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

general | confederate | train | love | spy | See more »

Taglines:

Love, Locomotives and Laughs


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 February 1927 (France)  »

Also Known As:

General  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(1982) | (1962) | (2003 alternate) |

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on a true incident during the Civil War. In April 1862, Union agent James J. Andrews led a squad of 21 soldiers on a daring secret raid. Dressed in civilian clothes, Andrews and his men traveled by rail into the Southern states. Their mission was to sabotage rail lines and disrupt the Confederate army's supply chain. At the town of Little Shanty, GA, the raiders stole a locomotive known as "The General." They headed north, tearing up track, burning covered bridges and cutting telegraph lines along the way. William Fuller and Jeff Cain, the conductor and engineer of "The General," pursued the stolen train by rail and foot. They first used a hand-cart (as Buster Keaton does in the film), then a small work locomotive called "The Yonah," which they borrowed from a railroad work crew, and finally a full-sized Confederate army locomotive called "The Texas," which pursued "The General" for 51 miles - in reverse. During the chase, Confederate soldiers were able to repair the sabotaged telegraph wires and send messages ahead of the raiders. Andrews and his men were intercepted and captured near Chattanooga, TN, by a squad of Confederate troops led by Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest (who, after the war, was one of the founders of the Ku Klux Klan). Tried as spies, Andrews and seven of his raiders were hanged (a special gallows was built to hold all eight men). The rest of the raiders were traded in a prisoner exchange. In 1863 the survivors of the mission were awarded the first Medals of Honor (Andrews and the raiders who had been hanged later received the MoH posthumously). See more »

Goofs

Johnnie's and Annabelle's clothes are dry, neat, and clean the morning after camping outside without shelter during the thunderstorm See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Annabelle's brother: Fort Sumter has been fired upon.
Mr. Lee: Then the war is here.
Annabelle's brother: Yes, dad, and I'm going to be one of the first to enlist.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Great Locomotive Chase (1956) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Genius of Buster Keaton
17 April 2001 | by (Oldwick, NJ) – See all my reviews

Probably Buster Keaton's best film, and oddly enough, it's not even a straightforward comedy – it's actually an action film, with clever doses of romance and comedy tossed in for good measure. `The General', which is set during the Civil War, is about a train engineer named Johnny Gray (Buster Keaton, of course) who tries to enlist in the Confederate Army . . . and is turned down because the army feels he'd be much more valuable for the war effort as an engineer instead of a soldier. However, through a series of misunderstandings, both Johnny's family and his girl think he's a coward, and they refuse to speak to him until he becomes a soldier. Months pass, and Johnny, sad and alone, is piloting his train – the General – when it is stolen from him by the North. Johnny's efforts to recover the General – and to win back his girl's love – become an unbelievably funny and action-packed series of events, as Johnny tries to go from being a sad-sack buffoon to being a hero.

If you haven't watched many silent films, they demand a greater amount of attention than `normal' film – there are no audio cues; and volumes can be spoken with a simple facial expression. Buster Keaton is amazingly expressive, as he's fully capable of going from wildly happy to downtrodden and sad in the blink of an eye. While funny, Keaton is much more than just a clownish figure – he manages to evoke a lot of sympathy as well, and he genuinely becomes what can only be described as an action hero as well. His timing, whether for a joke or for a tender moment, is absolutely impeccable.

What's also great about `The General' is the sheer amount of stunts and physical humor – a movie like this couldn't be made today. No amount of insurance would cover it. Keaton does all his own stunts, and manages to perform a number of feats that are simultaneously hilarious and dangerous – he chases down `The General' with a bike, he sits on a moving cattlecatcher, knocking away railroad ties with a tie of his own. All these stunts are fantastic, but it's scary to think that any one of these probably could've killed Keaton if something even went slightly wrong.

`The General' is a lot more than slapstick. Personally, I think it's one of the first films to push the envelope of movies – it goes for action, romance, and humor, and it pulls all of those elements together into a terrific movie. If you've never seen Buster Keaton – or, for that matter, a silent film – go find this one and watch it. It's a classic. A+


87 of 92 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Can someone explain to me why this is so great? TheLamplightersSerenade
Your Top ten favorite silent films SakowskyBrothers
score/soundtrack mariasarasota
Best version on DVD? haciendacaliente
A little anal perhaps godels_sprog
I like to think I have good taste in movies, but... bulldawg8110
Discuss The General (1926) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?